Saturday, October 31, 2009

Satin Stitch lattice

I photograph a lot of my sewing to document the inner construction. I have recently emptied the camera so I am posting various techniques of the most recent Regionals season. For this embroidery I consulted the talented Summerset. She uses a lot of lattice in her wearable art pieces so I asked for some advice, which she graciously provided.

Lattice satin stitch all-over embroidery
The pattern is on left. On the right is a tracing on reverse on right. Again I have used a satin fused with cotton interfacing for the base, with the upper fabric in a cotton velvet. The darts are marked on the bodice and thread traced through all layers.
I sewed on the pink applique at neckline to have an end point for the embroidery. Sometimes you end up with a gap otherwise. The straight stitching lines follow the grid. This stablizes the layers and shows where to stitch.
Keeping the line straight to do the stitching was a challenge for me. I wanted to stitch at an angle. I also found it better to stitch over the straight line with the line being just covered at one side by the stitching. If I tried to centre it I got crooked.
I did not go through the dart area because I wanted to do as much as possible in the flat. I left one square blank on the side of the dart and then finished the stitching once the darts were sewn.
The stitching in flat nearly completed. I kept missing areas and would have to go back to them.
The darts are sewn, the fused satin was trimmed away and the dart was catchstitched open.
Dart is sewn and the gap in embroideryshows. It looks like my lines match up-Yay!
Stitching complete, but the bodice hasn't been trimmed to size yet. This dress is still in production, so I will get some pictures up once it has been completed.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Reverse applique tutorial

Sometimes it is easier to do large chunks of applique in reverse. The fabrics cut slightly larger than needed and are laid down on the top. They are then straight stitched from behind and trimmed to shape. The technique works especially well with blocky shapes. Finer shapes require more finicky cutting.

Here is the pattern on the left. On the right is the design drawn onto the back of a piece of interfaced satin. I use this as a base for the applique. I have used a soft yellow to enhance the warm undertone tone of the white used in applique.

Pieces of fabrics are laid on top and stitched from behind following the design drawn onto the under fabric. Depending on the fabric, I will often use a spray adhesive to hold the fabrics in place. The gold sequin is called "mirror sequin fishscale". The sequins actually overlap like the scales of a fish. It is a pain to work with, but is spectacular under stage lights. I always wear safety glasses when using this fabric.

I used a co-ordinating teal velvet and metallic silk with the coral and gold, all laid on top, stitched from behind then trimmed away. This way you do not get texture show-though onto the uppermost fabric.

The white design was done in positve applique. The design was drawn onto a stiff interfacing, cut and spray glued into place. I basted it down before satin stitching the entire design in a fairly robust satin stitch. The finer design lines dictated a different technique. Doesn't the stitching make a huge difference?

The dancer wanted lace sleeves. This Guipure lace is heavy, so I added it after the rest of the work was done. The teal fabric under the lace also forms the upper teal applique.

The final product. In case you are wondering, that really is a solid block of rhinestones in five sizes and two colours glued down the centre front of the bodice.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Silk Scarf

I had a layer of water soluble embroidery stabilizer that was starting to dry out so I thought I would use it to make some scarves. This one is orange/fuschia shot silk cut into rectangles and laid out in a brick pattern with some big spaces. I stitched it vertically and horizontally using a mixture of sewing thread colours. It seemed a bit plain so I couched some yarns down on top.
The spaces I mentioned are important. The one I did previously did not have them and looks stiff and heavy. Notice that I have no photos of that one. I lightly sprayed some 505 Fabric Adhesive on the length of water-sol and placed the silk on it, then layered another piece of the water-sol on top. I didn't want to use too much spray in case it marked the silk. For the first few lengths of stitching I had to be very careful because the top layer was loose, but it was OK after that. I might spray glue the water-sol on both sides if I try it again, but it wasn't easy to wash out and I need to give the scarf another soak/wash to get the rest out.
The fabric really seems to shrivel up with the stitching. The scarf is much shorter than I had anticipated.